Books: MR Architecture + Decor

In the opening paragraph of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus Manifesto, the founder of the movement suggests “The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building!”, further professing “Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as “salon art.”

David Mann clearly understands the importance of these dictates.

The 18 projects featured in his new monograph from Abrams are as varied as they are dynamic…

A gray lacquer dividing wall creates a separation between the entry hall and the kitchen. A Kepa Akixo sculpture sits on the walnut and leather bench by BDDW. The ivory cowhide rug by Mark Nelson Designs complements the bleached oak floors. An iron and rope lounge chair by Alan Gould and a Bauhaus Lucite cocktail table create a casual seating area.  Image by Eric Piasecki

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David Mann realizes his vision for the homes he’s been commissioned to craft in a masterful way. And while every space has its own personalized sensibility – the hallmark of his firm — Mann’s aesthetic is omnipresent: minimal, rigorous and austere, with carefully considered flourishes.

While architects are sometimes criticized for creating spaces that are at once marvels with respect to volumes, order, scale, and proportion but lacking in creature comfort and warmth, Mann’s work refutes such characterization by carefully considering the relationship between architecture and ornament. Shaping both the envelope as well as its contents (what the Germans refer to as gesamtwerk for a ‘totalized work’) David Mann realizes his vision for the homes he’s been commissioned to craft in a masterful way. And while every space has its own personalized sensibility – the hallmark of his firm — Mann’s aesthetic is omnipresent: minimal, rigorous and austere, with carefully considered flourishes.

A painting by Leora Armstrong acts as a focal point on the entry wall, a preview to the apartment’s simple black and white palette. A collection of favorite objects sits atop the console.
Image by Björn Wallander
Acid-green lacquer walls and LED uplighting add a jolt of color to this den. A three-quarter-height bookshelf allows for the display of sculpture on top. The pieces here are from Maison Gerard. Left to right: Desert Vision by Mario Dal Fabbro; Contemporary Wire Tree Sculpture by Pablo Avilla; Sculptural Embraisee by Eric Astoul. The sofa was upholstered in green silk velvet to complement the walls.
Image by Mark Roskams
This open plan living room/dining room features custom velvet-upholstered sofas, a wool and silk felt chair by Ayala Serfaty and a trio of coffee tables by Stephane Ducatteau on a black rabbit fur area rug; in the background, a chandelier made with dandelions—Fragile Future by Studio Drift available through Carpenters Workshop Gallery—hangs above a custom dining table and late 18th century Gustavian chairs.
Image by Mark Roskams
In this formal living room the custom mantel is made of onyx. A pair of Louis XVI bergeres circa 1780 from Bernd Goeckler sits on top of an 1890s Agra carpet from India. Image by Eric Piasecki
An elevator vestibule, with walls, floor, and ceiling clad in black leather, opening into a white foyer.
Image by Francois Dischinger
Master bedroom with padded suede walls, carpeting in shimmering cool gray, and wall hanging by Olga de Amaral.
Image by Nikolas Koenig
One focal point in this formal dining room is a Fontana Arte green glass chandelier by Max Ingrand. The decorative panel, titled “Ducks,” is by Pierre Dunand for Jules Leleu.
Image by Eric Piasecki
In this chef’s kitchen, the custom island is stainless steel and the counter is oiled soapstone. A roll-down screen in the ceiling allows for the space to be concealed while entertaining.
Image by Francois Dischinger
In this living room, a metal wall-hung sculpture by El Anatsui is above a sofa covered in a Castel brown velvet. A cocktail table in gray-green lacquer and brass sits on a custom wool relief rug.
Image by Eric Piasecki

From the book’s jacket: “With its unique perspective on the dual efforts of client and studio, and the harmony of exterior and interior design, MR Architecture + Design celebrates an architecture and design firm whose variety and depth of work demonstrates the power of creativity and collaboration.”

The pages within the book prove the point.

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MR Architecture + Decor

By David Mann with Ingrid Abramovitch

Published by Abrams

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